California Wine For Dummies
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A driving force behind the popularity of California wine is their flavor. Generally, California wines are very fruity (that is, they have aromas and flavors that suggest fruits) and very flavorful (those fruity flavors are intense and easy to notice when you taste the wine). These characteristics appeal to a wide number of palates in the United States and beyond.

Try these white wines:

  • Dry Chenin Blanc: Medium-bodied with rich texture and a crisp backbone

  • Gewurztraminer: Full-bodied, soft, with medium-intense to intense floral and lychee flavors

  • Pinot Blanc: Dry, medium-bodied with crisp acidity and subtle flavors of apple and minerals

  • Pinot Gris/Grigio: Dry to fairly dry, fairly full, with pronounced peach, citrus, and floral flavors

  • Roussanne: Dry, full-bodied, with rich texture and white-fruit flavors

  • Viognier: Full-bodied, dry, flavorful (peaches, floral notes)

Try these red wines:

  • Barbera: Medium-bodied, fairly soft, with tart-cherry flavors

  • Cabernet Franc: Medium-bodied and dry with expressive red-fruit flavors and medium tannin

  • Malbec: Medium- or full-bodied with velvety texture and rich plum flavor

  • Petite Sirah: Full-bodied, dry and firm, with ripe dark-fruit flavors and spicy notes

  • Petit Verdot: Full-bodied, dry and firm with tannin; flavors of blueberry with violet notes

  • Sangiovese: Fairly full-bodied, with firm tannin and red-fruit and herbal flavors

  • Tempranillo: Full-bodied, with dryish texture and flavors of dark fruits and herbs

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Ed McCarthy is a certified wine educator (CWE), wine columnist for, and coauthor of Wine For Dummies and Champagne For Dummies. Mary Ewing-Mulligan coauthored the bestselling Wine For Dummies. She is the only female Master of Wine in the U.S., and she owns International Wine Center, a New York wine school.

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